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Watch out! LA prepares for Car-mageddon

Guy Adams

Pollution and carbon emis 004 300x180 Watch out! LA prepares for Car mageddon

“Stay the heck out of here” warned one Los Angeles official. “Just go on vacation,” counseled another. “Let me just make something absolutely clear,” added City Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, “on July 16th and 17th, it will be an absolute nightmare.”

The doomsday scenario presented, at a City Hall press conference earlier this week, is neither an incoming hurricane, nor an approaching plague of locusts. It isn’t even a Harold Camping-style apocalypse. Instead, the good people of Southern California are being prepared for something truly terrifying: the closure of their favourite freeway.

The Interstate 405, which runs from San Diego to North LA, is believed to be America’s busiest road. A third of a million cars travel along it each day. At the best of times, it’s a 10-12 lane, smog-belching car-park. And for an entire weekend next month, it’ll shut for road-works. Most locals arer planning to either leave town, or stay indoors. For those that venture onto the roads, historic gridlock awaits. Headline writers are calling this prospect: “carmageddon.”

To understand how a single road closure can so terrify an entire metropolis, you need to appreciate the obsessive relationship between Angelenos and freeways. Swathes of this City have almost no public transport. House prices force people to live miles from work. As a result, natives virtually live in their cars. In parts of the city, the only people you see walking are homeless.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Before the war, LA had one of America’s best tram networks. Roads flowed. But then, in a historic civic scandal, a front company secretly owned by oil and car firms brought the tram firms, and promptly closed them down.

Today, as millions of citizens prepare to spend 48 hours fuming behind the steering wheels of gas-guzzling, air-conditioned SUVs, the boards of those same companies will no doubt be reflecting on a job well done.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SULG4TCP2ZQZWJHII5VAOXL3OQ Byron Roach

    I drive a Porsche 911 to my downtown corporate law firm and my Hispanic husband……LMFAO!!!!! If you’re going to troll at least dont be so obvious.  LOWRIDER symbolizing someone in the entertainment industry!!! hahahahahahaha!!!!! This troll has NEVER been to LA much less california

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SULG4TCP2ZQZWJHII5VAOXL3OQ Byron Roach

    Federal Reserve Act of 1913 effectively ended our country

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000036708431 Stefanie Behe

    Next it will be agua-geddon… LA doesn’t have enough water… It’s not worth robbing the water from pristine areas in CA so you can live in a frackin’ desert. Get a clue people! 

  • aubreyfarmer

    Excellent.

  • aubreyfarmer

    More excellent.

  • aubreyfarmer

    Good to see that some understand the truth about what the US has become.  If I were a young man, I would be looking for a way out.  It is going to get worse by the day.  Tell the truth and be called a “conspiracy nut.”  These same people that hurl insults at anyone paying attention will be the same ones saying ” why didn’t someone warn me” as they are loaded on a train heading for the nearest FEMA camp.  The more you know the scarier it is.  Difficult to argue with these neo Nazi types though when it comes to calling the general public “useless eaters.”  I see it in my own neighborhood.  People that couldn’t care less about the destruction of liberty.  They can’t tell you who the vice president is but know all of the latest on any sport you wish to discuss.  Just look at the idiots that pay hundreds of dollars to sit in the hot sun and be miserable to watch a bunch of grown ups act like children but wouldn’t donate a dime to a political candidate that has spent their entire life fighting for their liberty. 

  • Lyle_Burkhead

    This story is just a lot of stupid clichés. “At the best of times, it’s a 10-12 lane, smog-belching car-park.” Rubbish. At the best of times, you can drive full speed on the 405. On a bad day, yes, it is crowded. I have taken the 405 from the Valley to West L.A. hundreds of times, and I could count on my fingers the times it was a car-park.

    “To understand how a single road closure can so terrify an entire metropolis…” The 405 is just one freeway in one part of the city. Most of us won’t even notice that it’s closed for the weekend.

    “As a result, natives virtually live in their cars…” Yesterday I walked to the Farmer’s Market in Hollywood, about a mile from my apartment, and this evening I walked to a store in the same area to do more shopping. There are lots of pedestrians. Also lots of buses, and an underground train if you need to go downtown. You don’t even have to have a car in this neighborhood. I have one but only use it two or three times a week. Some American cities don’t even have sidewalks. Los Angeles is not one of them.

  • Lyle_Burkhead

    This story is just a lot of stupid clichés. “At the best of times, it’s a 10-12 lane, smog-belching car-park.” Rubbish. At the best of times, you can drive full speed on the 405. On a normal day, you can drive about 30-40 mph. On a bad day, yes, it is crowded, but that does not normally happen except in the area near the airport. I have taken the 405 from the Valley to West L.A. hundreds of times, and I could count on my fingers the times it was a car-park.

    “To understand how a single road closure can so terrify an entire metropolis…” The 405 is just one freeway in one part of the city. Most of us won’t even notice that it’s closed for the weekend.

    “As a result, natives virtually live in their cars…” Yesterday I walked to the Farmer’s Market in Hollywood, about a mile from my apartment, and this evening I walked to a store in the same area to do more shopping. There are lots of pedestrians. Also lots of buses, and an underground train if you need to go downtown. You don’t even have to have a car in this neighborhood. I have one but only use it two or three times a week. Some American cities don’t even have sidewalks. Los Angeles is not one of them.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TWCZ6HLNSS3CWUMH46JCYIP3QI Ramblin Rose

    And I thought the traffic was bad in Memphis TN.


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